The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has commenced a criminal investigation into rogue aircraft supplier AOG Technics, raiding a London residential address on the morning of December 6, 2023, and taking one person in for questioning.

The SFO-issued statement on the matter did not name the person detained. However, multiple outlets are reporting that it was AOG director, Venezuelan national Jose Alejandro Zamora Yrala, 35, and the address the search warrant was executed upon was his home. Officers from the National Crime Agency were also present for the search, during which "material" was seized. Before getting into the aircraft parts business, Yrala was a techno DJ and music producer working the European party circuit.

"This investigation deals with very serious allegations of fraud involving the supply of aircraft parts, the consequences of which are potentially far reaching," SFO Director Nick Ephgrave.

It is alleged AOG Technics sold parts backed by fraudulent paperwork that were subsequently installed on some CFM56 engines used to power some older-generation B737 and A320-type aircraft. Multiple airlines around the world have pulled at least 126 aircraft from service to remove impacted engines. Safran and GE Aerospace, the joint venture partners behind the engine manufacturer, CFM International, have commenced legal action against AOG Technics and have previously called for a police investigation.

"Safety is our first priority, and we are closely working with CFM56 operators affected by unauthorized parts from AOG Technics," a CFM spokesperson told ch-aviation. "We have taken aggressive legal action against AOG Technics and have shared information proactively with relevant authorities to support efforts to keep unapproved parts out of the global supply chain."

Yrala's aviation-related CV includes stints early last decade at engine maintenance firm AJW and the UK-arm of GA Telesis. In 2015, he established AOG Technics using a London serviced office address, but Yrala primarily worked from home using a software platform to connect buyers and sellers. Media investigations this year have revealed the creation of fake online profiles for ghost AOG Technics employees. Non-existent people were also signatories to some of the documentation accompanying parts supplied by AOG Technics.